There are basically two types of music online download services. You have the option to purchase tracks and download them. Subscription services let you access complete tracks online for a monthly fee. Some do both.
This service allows you to buy tracks to download. Last time I checked they offered music downloads for only 88 cents per song and allowed you to select from over 800,000. They offer a service that allows you to choose up 20 tracks from over 500,000 songs and burns them to CD. After burning, they ship the CD to you.
This is the only service of the four that allows you view and buy music without the need to download any player to your computer. Internet Explorer is all that’s required.
Itunes.com – The Grand Dad of Revolution
Itunes is owned by Apple and was responsible for launching the music download industry. They were the first to permit you to legally pay only 99c for a track.
Their music collection includes more than 2,000,000+ tracks, more than any other music service. They also offer over 3000+ music videos and 20,000+ podcasts. 16,000+ audiobooks are available Fakaza. They offer many multimedia options and downloads, so they’re more than just a music store.
The only problem with their service is the fact that you need to download and install their Player, which at last count was more than 34MB in size. Walmart.com allows you to browse music and make purchases from within Internet Explorer.
Napster, from pirate to megastar
Napster allows unlimited access to more than 1,500,000 songs. You can listen to unlimited music every month. There are over 50 free, interactive radio stations. With the easy-to-use sharing tools, you can find out what others are listening to and even swap songs with fellow Napster members.
Napster lets you burn the tracks that you purchase to CD, so you can take them with you wherever you go. Napster provides a 7-day free trial for their subscription service.
Rhapsody, Real’s music juggernaut
Real is the owner of Rhapsody. Rhapsody allows unlimited access over 1,500,000+ songs, complete music management software, and more than 80 ad-free radio stations. These services also allow you to share and create your playlists, which is a standard feature for most online music sites. You can even view videos of music and see photos of your favorite artists.
Rhapsody comes with a 14-day trial for Rhapsody Unlimited. Rhapsody Unlimited, which is free for those without credit cards, offers a service called Rhapsody – FREE that lets you listen to hours worth of music every month. Apart from these subscription-based services, you can also buy music downloads through their RealPlayer Music Store. You can purchase over 1,000,000 songs.
What service would you choose? You should give them all a chance. Each one allows you to listen to a short clip of the music before purchasing. Subscription services also offer free trials. You can’t lose.